After 16 years in The Factory, Saffire will closeout 2017 by saying goodbye. Saffire was one of the first eateries to open in The Factory and it was the first restaurant for restauranteur Tom Morales. After opening Saffire, Morales went on to open several other restaurants in Nashville including Acme Feed & Seed, The Southern Steak & Oyster and Fin & Pearl.
In talking about his first restaurant, Morales says, “Saffire was the first restaurant in The Factory to serve alcohol,” he continued, ” we purchased it from a lady who started a coffee bar, then she added wine then she added food. But the food was a struggle for her so she approached me saying, ‘Tom, you’re the only one I would want to sell this to and asked if I was interested.”
At the time Morales had a movie catering company called TomKats and he was looking for “a place of rest” for his movie people who wanted a break from traveling and his employees could work at Saffire. Morales says the only stipulation the previous owner had was that “blue” be incorporated into the name, as the former restaurant was called Bluewind. Thus the name Saffire was born.
When asked about what it’s like to close his first restaurant, Morales says, “it’s like sending a kid off to college.”
Reflecting on a busier time at The Factory, Morales recalls weddings, proms, and bar mitzvahs as a part of the fabric of his catering business at The Factory and the overflow business for the restaurant.
As Saffire closes on New Year’s Day, Morales says to expect the month of December to be one big goodbye party as he and managing partner Jennifer Masley will be spending lots of time in Franklin saying goodbye to guests and sharing memories from years past.
“Lots of people have proposed marriages, hosted their wedding parties, there’s a lot of social history in addition to physical history,” says Morales.
Will Morales open another restaurant in Franklin? Morales says he’s in discussion with a few developers who would like to see one of his restaurants in downtown Franklin but at this time there’s nothing in the works.
Morales added one last thing – if you see him at Saffire, please stop by and say hello. Plans are underway now for a big New Year’s Eve party. Keep checking back here for more details as they will release information in the next week.
Managing partner Masley founded and operates a handful of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Sip Organic Juice Bars. Masley and her Hive Hospitality Group are also behind the Nashville organic food destination, EiO & The Hive which opened in 2017.
Doors will close at Saffire on New Year’s Day. Nashville Business Journal reports that Mojo’s Tacos, owned by a group of investors who opened Five Daughters Bakery, Franklin Juice and Honest Coffee Roasters (all located in The Factory) will renovate the space and hope to open by Spring 2018.
Saffire is located at 230 Franklin Road inside The Factory in Franklin. Hours of operation are Tuesday – Thursday, 11 a – 9 p, Friday 11 a – 10 p, Saturday 10 a – 10 p and Sunday 10 a – 9 p.